Artist set to capture coastal scenes

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A high flying aviation artist has turned his attentions to the coast.

Geoff Lea, who specialises in oil paintings and has produced work for the RAF and the Army, is focusing his artistic eye on Whitby.

“Since moving to Whitby I have decided to concentrate on local scenes as there is a wealth of interesting material,” explained Geoff, from Pudsey near Leeds.

“I will produce paintings which can be printed as limited edition works and possibly produce a calendar which I am prepared to partially donate to a local deserving charity.”

Geoff, 77, has been painting in oils for many years and has had numerous commissions from the RAF, Armed Forces and private clients, as well as depicting landscapes and portraits.

He has recently bought an apartment in Whitby with his partner, Dorothy.

“I started painting while I was in the Merchant Navy as a radio officer in the early 1960s,” said Geoff.

“My first picture was painted from the deck of the ship the Nicholas Bowater whilst we were berthed in the East River, New York.”

From then his love of oil painting took off through contacts he made.

“I was lucky enough to speak to many aircrew in the 70s and 80s regarding commissions of the aircraft in which they flew.

“This developed my technique which gradually improved until I was able to produce paintings which were accepted by The Guild of Aviation Artist’s summer exhibitions. From this I made contacts with high ranking RAF and Armed Forces officer’s which enabled me to paint front line squadrons both here and in Germany.”

Because of these contacts Geoff was able to obtain further commissions for portraits, which then led to more work of what he terms as “interesting military achievements in WWII”.

On their recent retirement, Geoff, a former senior manager with British Telecom, and his partner have bought a holiday apartment in Whitby and he is spending more time painting local scenes, including one of the old Whitby Gazette building on Grape Lane.

“Dorothy and I have had an affinity with Whitby since both our childhoods,” explained Geoff.

“We find that Whitby’s stunning scenery and historical charm provide ideal material for an artist.”

Geoff, who is a self taught artist, aims to produce limited edition prints and use some of his work in a calendar to raise funds for a local charity.

“These days I concentrate on mostly charitable fundraising with my work.

“I produced for 2014 and 2015 for a local charity in Leeds for the Pudsey Wellbeing Centre Love Pudsey Charity a foundation trust of Robin Lane Medical Practice.

“I would welcome local printers or publishers who may wish to get involved in producing my next project – cards, a 2017 calendar and prints – to fundraise for a worthy local charity, of which I am open to suggestions.”

n Anyone interested in collaboration with a calendar should email geoffelea@gmail.com or contact Geoff on 0113 255 8047.